We are recruiting for Volunteer Advisers although if you are interested in this role when recruitment and training are not taking place, other volunteer roles may be offered which provide an excellent introduction to the advice service.
What will you do?
Volunteer Advisers will:
talk to clients over the phone, face-to-face, or online to explore what problems they’ve come for help with
find information about the clients’ problems and help them to understand their options
write case records of the clients’ problems and what action you’ve taken
look out for problems that are common, or are unfair, and write a short report about the problem so that things can be made better for everyone
Some examples of what you could do (Adviser 1 level):
find the information online that explains how to apply for a disability benefit and explain it to them
identify what steps a client can take to resolve their problem with a second hand car
help a client who has problems with their landlord to understand their housing rights
help a client find and understand what steps they can take to deal with their rent arrears
Some examples of what you could do (Adviser 2 level):
- support clients to take action to resolve their problems. This might include drafting or writing letters, making phone calls, or referring the client to another organisation
help client with debts work out a reasonable amount to pay back, and make a phone call to an organisation they owe money to
explore what benefits a client is entitled to and help them to complete a series of benefit applications
Before you get started as an adviser you will:
complete an introduction to Citizens Advice, its aims, principles and values.
engage in initial and ongoing training for your role as it progresses from initial information and advice (Adviser 1), through full advice and casework (Adviser 2), to Initial Check.
How much time do you need to give?
In our Winchester office we ask for 7 hours per week, which can be over one day or spread over two days, for at least 12 months.
In our Bishops Waltham office we ask for 5 hours per week on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, for at least 12 months.
We can be flexible so come and talk to us.
Advisers are trained as a group using tutorials, self-study using learning packs and e-learning, plus observation of advice sessions which also gives an ideal opportunity to get to know the rest of the team.
3 months initial training period (a commitment of an afternoon plus 1/2 day observation per week) is followed by attendance at a one day course held locally. Skills to be taught: interviewing, understanding a wide variety of subject areas and the ability to find information quickly and appropriately, recording case records electronically. This is always done with support. You do not need to know everything, you just need to know where to look.
What’s in it for you?
work with a great team of people making a real difference to people’s lives
learn about a range of issues such as benefits, debt, employment and housing
build on valuable skills such as communication, listening and problem solving, and increase your employability
have a positive impact in your community.
Be part of a well respected passionate organisation that seeks to change things for the better for everyone
And we’ll reimburse expenses too.
If you're training to be a solicitor and you train and volunteer as a local Citizens Advice adviser, you may be able to get up to six months off your solicitor training contract. See Solicitors Regulation Authority for more information.
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
If you are interested in becoming an adviser and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.
What do you need to have?
You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:
be friendly and approachable
be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
be able to work as part of a supportive team
have good verbal and written communication skills
have good IT skills, be familiar with browser software, use documents, databases and
be able to understand information and explain it to others
be comfortable to work with people face-to-face, on the phone and online
- Age restrictions
We are unable to accept volunteers for adviser training over the age of 75
- DBS check required
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Expenses reimbursed
45p per mile, max 18 mile round trip plus P & R car park charge per visit.
- Health and Safety Policy
- Ongoing support
- Training provided
Initial 3 month training programme plus ongoing training, some compulsory, some optional to increase knowledge. Full travel expenses are paid where necessary.
- Volunteer induction
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
Start Date: 19/09/2019
End Date: 22/10/2020
The table below shows Winchester office hours. If you are interested in volunteering at Bishops Waltham office the opening hours are slightly different: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings until 1pm.
More Opportunities from Citizens Advice Winchester District
Citizens Advice Winchester District
Hampshire & IOW Youth Commission
New Forest Mencap
Winchester Live At Home Scheme